Bill Hewlett Biography & Net Worth
|Popular Name:||Bill Hewlett|
William Redington Hewlett
|Birth Date:||May 20, 1913|
Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
|Age:||January 12, 2001 (aged 87)|
Flora Lamson (m. 1939; died 1977)
Rosemary Bradford (m. 1978–2001)
|Net Worth:||$9 Billion|
|Last Updated:||December, 2020|
Bill Hewlett was an American engineer. Also an entrepreneur, he founded the Hewlett-Packard Company (HP) alongside David Packard. He was also known for his philanthropic gestures and donations of millions of dollars to numerous organizations. Here’s all you should know about Bill Hewlett biography and success story. Read on for more.
Bill Hewlett’s Early Life
William Redington Hewlett was born on May 20, 1913 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States. His father was a staff at the University of Michigan Medical School. In 1916 the family relocated to San Francisco when his father, Albion Walter Hewlett, found employment at Stanford Medical School which was located at in San Francisco then.
For his education, he was a student of Lowell High School and was the Battalion Commander of the Army JROTC program in the school from 1929-1930. He was accepted at Stanford University in favor to his father who died of a brain tumor in 1925. In 1934, Hewlett graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree. He then earned a Master’s degree in electrical engineering from MIT in the year 1936. He also attended Stanford University for a degree in Electrical Engineering, graduating in 1939.
Bill Hewlett’s Career
During his time attending classes at Stanford University, Bill Hewlett became acquainted with David Packard and the duo began discussing the establishment of a company in August 1937. On January 1939, they partnered and founded the Hewlett-Packard Company. A flip of a coin was used in deciding the ordering of their names. Their first big break came when the Walt Disney company bought multiple audio oscillators created by Bill for use in the production of the movie ‘Fantasia’.
The company integrated in 1947 and tendered an original public offering in 1957. Bill Hewlett and his partner David Packard were proud of the culture of their company which became known as “the HP Way”. The HP Way is a corporate tradition that claimed to be not only concerned about making money but also respecting its employees.
Hewlett served as president of the Institute of Radio Engineers in the year 1954. He sat as HP president for thirteen years from 1964 to 1977, and served as chief executive officer for ten years from 1968 to 1978, when he was replaced by John A. Young. He retained the position of chairman of the executive committee until 1983 when he was appointed as vice chairman of the board, and served until 1987.
A young Steve Jobs, 12 years of age as of then, called Bill (whose number was in a phone book) and asked for any available component for a frequency counter he was making. Hewlett, impressed with the initiative of a 12-year old Job, offered him a job assembling frequency counters. This made Job consider HP as one of the companies that he had deep admiration for, regarding it one of the handful of companies (Intel and Disney were the others) that were created “to last, not just to make money”.
Steve Wozniak, who co-founder Apple along with Jobs, made five different attempts to sell his Apple I computer five times to HP while working there, but failed. The early Apple computers were made with parts obtained from HP, and was given a legal release by HP.
In 1966, Bill Hewlett was elected to the Board of Directors for Chrysler Corporation, a position he held until 1983. He also served as a Director of Chase Manhattan Bank (which later became JPMorgan Chase) from 1969-1980. From 1956-1965, Hewlett served as Director for Hexcel Products Incorporated (which later became Hexcel , founded by Roscoe “Bud” Hughes his wife Flora’s brother in law), and worked on their executive committee.
Hewlett served as a Signal Corps Officer in the United States Army during World War II. After the war he was a member of the special team that examined the Japanese Industry.
Personal Life & Family
Bill Hewlett married Flora Lamson in 1939, and the couple eventually had five children, including: Mary, William, Eleanor, Walter, and James. They also had 12 grandchildren.
After the death of his wife Flora in 1977, Hewlett married Rosemary Kopmeier Bradford in 1978.
He lived his life committed to conservation, and was an avid outdoorsman. An amateur photographer and botanist, Bill he took many photographs of wildflowers. He also collected samples, some of which were donated to California Academy of Sciences.
Bill Hewlett was also committed to philanthropy. Starting in the 1960s, he committed much of his wealth and time towards numerous charitable causes. In 1966, Hewlett and his wife Flora established the “William and Flora Hewlett Foundation”. Their foundation became one of the biggest private foundations in the United States of America. Aside from the foundation, Bill also gave millions of dollars to non-profit organizations, universities, schools, museums, and other organizations. Stanford University was also a large recipient of his philanthropy.
Aged 87, Bill died on January 12, 2001 of heart failure in Palo Alto, California. He was interred at Los Gatos Memorial Park, in San Jose, California.
Awards & Achievements
Bill’s awards include:
- IEEE Founders Medal (1973)
- Vermilye Medal (1975)
- Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement (1981)
- National Medal of Science (1983)
- National Inventors Hall of Fame (1992)
- Lemelson-MIT Prize Lifetime Achievement Award (1995)
- The 3rd Annual Heinz Award Chairman’s Medal (with David Packard) (1997)
- Entrepreneur Walk of Fame (2011)
Bill Hewlett Net Worth
Best remembered for being one of the founders of the Hewlett-Packard Company, Bill Hewlett net worth was $9 billion at the time of his death.